Article Title

“If You Fall Down, You Get Back Up”: Creating a Space for Testimony and Witnessing by Urban Indigenous Women and Girls


Historical trauma and the negative effects of colonialism continue to be played out within Canadian culture. These processes have a deleterious effect on physical and psychological health outcomes among Indigenous Peoples. Through the creation of a safe space as part of a decolonizing, participatory activity program spanning 7 weeks, First Nations and Metis women and girls (aged 8-12) were able to begin to unpack what it means to be happy, healthy, and safe, and what is needed to actualize these goals. A community engaged, asset-based workshop approach provided a forum for participants to discuss the impact of traumatic experiences on the ability of adults to model a positive image of strength, independence, and confidence for their daughters, while creating a space to discuss change.


We would like to thank the women and girls who participated in this study, and we acknowledge the families and community members who supported their participation. We would like to thank the Manitoba Metis Federation Health and Wellness Department for their support of this study. We would also like to thank Dr. Heather Castleden, Dr. Tuula Heinonen, and Dr. Josée Lavoie for reviewing earlier drafts of this paper.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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